In October 2008, a would-be plumber named Joe asked then-candidate Barack Obama what would happen if, hypothetically, Joe were to become employed making nearly $300,000 a year. Then candidate Obama said that as a member of the top 5% of income earners, that Joe's taxes would go up. Candidate Obama said the plan was to "spread the wealth around."
Since then, that quote has been used repeatedly to prove that Obama is a Marxist, Socialist Communist who is hellbent on "confiscating wealth."
I discovered a simple and elegant retort to the accusation of "confiscating wealth."
Whenever someone brings up the "spread the wealth around" quote, I turn the tables on the speaker.
I ask, what if Barack Obama had said the exact opposite of what he did? What if Barack Obama had said
"Well, Joe, taxes are for the little people, so under my plan when your income approaches the $1 Million dollar a year mark, your tax burden becomes gradually reduced letting you keep more of your money. To do this, of course, we'll have to raise taxes on the poor and reduce their access to Medicare and Social Security. This is how, under my plan, wealth would funnel upward and become concentrated at the top."
What then? Would his detractors stand up and cheer a quote like that? Why not?
It blows my mind that the people who consistently go to bat for tax breaks for millionaires are the people who will bear the burden of the tax inequity.